Across the state at St. Mark's Charter School in Colwich, Kansas, middle school students are protesting the new regulations, which limit their calories to between 600 and 700 per meal, by bringing their lunches from home.
St. Mark's Principal Craig Idacavage said more than half of his 330-student school are opting for sack lunches because "they feel they are not able to get full" on the school offerings.
"I think they have a valid point and you can only hope that people will listen to them," Idacavage said.
The new school lunch regulations, which first lady Michelle Obama championed and a Democrat-led Congress passed in 2010, set a maximum calorie limit for high school lunches at between 750 and 850 calories. Under the old rules, cafeterias served a minimum of 825 calories per lunch.
Elementary students' lunches pack between 550 and 650 calories as opposed to the 633 calories allotted under the old rules.
For Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, that "scant diet" is a "rude awakening" for schoolchildren across the country. King and Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas, introduced the "No Kids Hungry Act" this month to repeal the new lunch menu standards and prohibit the calorie limits.
"Kids are of varying sizes, activity levels and metabolism rates," King wrote in a Des Moines Register op-ed. "How can we expect each child to flourish and grow on subsistence diets? This all because some are overweight."